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Catching Up With Justin Gainey

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Justin Gainey spent 10 years of his life at NC State as a player, working in administration and on the coaching staff.  After spending one season as an Assistant Coach at Elon, he recently made the move to Appalachian State University, where he will be an Assistant Coach for Head Coach Jason Capel.  Gainey was a four-year starter at NC State and ranks 9th in school history in assists (344) and 4th in steals (190).  Recently we had the chance to catch up with Gainey, and allow him to tell us how the transition to Appalachian State has been.

On how he was contacted for the ASU job…

“Coach Capel called me once he got the job at Appalachian State. He wanted me to come join him. I already had an established relationship with Coach Capel because we played high school basketball together for a season back at Greensboro Day. I was a sophomore and he was an 8th grader. He was so good that they allowed him to move up to varsity. We developed a quick bond because we both started at the school at the same time. Since then, we’ve continued a friendship throughout the years. We were able to continue that friendship even through the NC State/UNC rivalry. We’ve always had a good relationship through the years, and because of that, the transition up here has been a lot easier.”

On how his responsibilities have expanded at ASU…

“Coach Capel has made it clear that he is going to lean on everyone on his staff. I’m going to have more responsibilities in the development of the point guards. He’s kind of given me more freedom in that area.  One of the biggest reasons for making this move, was because it was a chance for me to get more involved in everything.”

On why he took the job…

“The biggest reason I took this job was because the program has great tradition and history. The facilities were a big upgrade, as well as the support and the backing of the program. I just felt like it was a good move for me and my family. It’s definitely a great situation.”

On how his family is adjusting to the change…

“My family is not coming up here until August 1st. One of my children was still in school in June and we are mostly on the road in July. They are excited and I think it is going to be a good change for them. The community here has really embraced us.”

On what to expect from ASU this upcoming season…

“Last season they won the Northern Division for the third straight season. They made it to the championship game and lost to Wofford, even though they beat Wofford at their place earlier in the season. We are returning 3 starters from last year’s team. Donald Sims, the league’s leading scorer is returning, and he was the AP Player of the Year. We are bringing in a really good recruiting class. We also had two transfer players on the team last season that had to sit out, who came in from the Big South and were All-Conference players. I really think we have a great opportunity to do something special next season. These guys are really focused and they have their eyes set on winning the whole thing and going to the NCAA tournament.”

On what it is like to work with someone you already have a relationship with…

“It’s really special for us to be able to work together, already having the relationship that we have. We both know that we have the same goal in mind, and that is to be successful and to win as many games as we can. It’s great to be working with Coach. He’s young and energetic. He’s very involved in every aspect of the program.”

On how he and Capel played together back at Greensboro Day…

“The one season that we played together at Greensboro Day, we played pretty well. We won the Little Four Tournament, which is a big tournament in Greensboro. We beat Dudley in the championship, which was a huge game. We both earned all-tournament honors in that one. Then we made it to the state championship game and lost, but he was unable to play. They came up with some rule at the end of the season saying everyone on the team had to be in high school. In the end, we had a lot of success playing together that season. I think we only lost 3 or 4 games all season long.”

The last thing that Gainey asked in our conversation, was that we continue to follow him.  He wants the Wolfpack Nation to follow and support the Appalachian State Mountaineers.  We promised him that we would do our part, by providing updated coverage on ASU throughout the basketball season.  Support one of your own Wolfpack fans, and pull for ASU this upcoming season!

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Pack in the Pros

Former NC State Punter AJ Cole Added to AFC Pro Bowl Roster

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Former NC State Punter AJ Cole has been named to the Pro Bowl for the 2nd consecutive year. He was added to the roster because Chiefs Punter Tommy Townsend is headed to the Super Bowl.

Cole is one of three former Wolfpack football players to be named to the Pro Bowl in 2022, joining Joe Thuney and Bradley Chubb.

Cole ranked 4th in the NFL (and the AFC) in yards per punt in 2022, averaging 48.9 yards per punt.

This marks the 2nd time that Cole has made the Pro Bowl. Cole is 1 of 15 former NC State players to make the Pro Bowl, and 1 of 13 to earn the honor more than once.

QB Russell Wilson – 9 (2012, ‘13, ‘14, ‘15, ‘17, ‘18, ‘19, ‘20, ‘21)
QB Philip Rivers – 8 (2006, ‘09, ‘10, ‘11, ‘13, ‘16, ‘17, ‘18)
WR Torry Holt – 7 (2000, ‘01 ‘03, ‘04, ‘05, ‘07, ‘08)
S Adrian Wilson – 5 (2006, ‘08, ‘09, ‘10, ‘11)
WR Mike Quick – 5 (1984, ‘85, ‘86, ‘87, ‘88)
DE Mario Williams – 4 (2008, ‘09, ‘13, ‘14)
LB Vaughan Johnson – 4 (1990, ‘91, ‘92, ‘93)
QB Roman Gabriel – 3 (1967, ‘68, ‘69)
WR Haywood Jeffires – 3 (1992, ‘93, ‘94)
OG Darrell Dess – 2 (1962, ‘63)
FB Alex Webster – 2 (1958, ’61)
LB Bradley Chubb – 2 (2020, ’22)
P AJ Cole III – 2 (2021, ’22)
OG Joe Thuney – 1 (2022)
C Jim Ritcher – 1 (1992)

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Former NC State All-American Bradley Chubb Added to Pro Bowl

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Former NC State All-American Bradley Chubb has been added to the AFC Pro Bowl roster to replace an injured Khalil Mack. Chubb is one of three former Wolfpack football players to be named to the Pro Bowl in 2022, joining Joe Thuney and AJ Cole.

Chubb finished the season with 39 tackles, 8 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, 5 tackles for loss and 20 QB Hits, playing 8 games with the Broncos and 8 games with the Dolphins in 2022.

This marks the 2nd time that Chubb has made the Pro Bowl. Chubb is 1 of 15 former NC State players to make the Pro Bowl, and 1 of 13 to earn the honor more than once.

QB Russell Wilson – 9 (2012, ‘13, ‘14, ‘15, ‘17, ‘18, ‘19, ‘20, ‘21)
QB Philip Rivers – 8 (2006, ‘09, ‘10, ‘11, ‘13, ‘16, ‘17, ‘18)
WR Torry Holt – 7 (2000, ‘01 ‘03, ‘04, ‘05, ‘07, ‘08)
S Adrian Wilson – 5 (2006, ‘08, ‘09, ‘10, ‘11)
WR Mike Quick – 5 (1984, ‘85, ‘86, ‘87, ‘88)
DE Mario Williams – 4 (2008, ‘09, ‘13, ‘14)
LB Vaughan Johnson – 4 (1990, ‘91, ‘92, ‘93)
QB Roman Gabriel – 3 (1967, ‘68, ‘69)
WR Haywood Jeffires – 3 (1992, ‘93, ‘94)
OG Darrell Dess – 2 (1962, ‘63)
FB Alex Webster – 2 (1958, ’61)
LB Bradley Chubb – 2 (2020, ’22)
P AJ Cole III – 2 (2021, ’22)
OG Joe Thuney – 1 (2022)
C Jim Ritcher – 1 (1992)

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Former NC State WR Jakobi Meyers is Positioned for a Big Pay Day this Offseason

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Former NC State Wide Receiver Jakobi Meyers has set himself up well to get a big pay day this offseason.

Meyers led the Patriots in receiving yards (804) and touchdown receptions (6) in 2022, and ranked 2nd on the team in receptions (67) behind Running Back Rhamondre Stevenson (69). In 2021, he led New England in receptions (83) and receiving yards (866). In 2020, Meyers did the same thing with 59 receptions for 729 yards.

This year, Meyers was given the Ed Block Courage Award by the Pats as the player on the roster that most exemplified courage, sportsmanship, professionalism and dedication.

Pats head coach Bill Belichick had this to say about Meyers:

“Well he’s a tough kid, mentally, physically,” Bill Belichick said of Meyers on January 6. “He’s shown a lot of leadership and competitiveness like he always does. So, yeah, I’m glad we have him. Glad he’s out there. I know he’s had to fight through some things, so have a lot of other guys. But he’s done a good job of that.” (link)

If it were up to Meyers, he’d like to resign with New England.

Meyers has been one of the best homegrown receivers in Patriots history. His 2,758 receiving yards is the 2nd most by a player in their first 4 years in the league in New England, trailing only the legendary Tight End Rob Gronkowski.

Consider the fact that Meyers signed with the Pats as an undrafted free agent in 2019, and that stat becomes much more impressive.

Through 4 seasons, already ranks in the Top-10 in NC State history in both receptions (9th) and receiving yards (8th).

Meyers was paid $3.986 million this season on a 1-year deal, but he could be looking to make something more in line with $18 million annually, which is the deal that Christian Kirk signed with the Jags this past offseason.

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PackPros: Recapping NFL Wild Card Weekend

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The Wild Card round of the 2023 NFL Playoffs was last weekend, and — former NC State football players were represented.

Linebacker Germaine Pratt had 8 tackles and 1 pass breakup in the Bengals 24-17 victory over the Ravens. His teammate, Defensive Tackle B.J. Hill had 5 tackles, 1 sack, 1 tackle for loss and 1 QB Hit.

Pratt was a big part of causing Baltimore Quarterback Tyler Huntley to fumble it on the goal line, that led to a 98-yard fumble return for a touchdown by Cincy’s Sam Hubbard.

Linebacker Bradley Chubb had 1 sack in the Dolphins 31-34 loss to the Bills.

Running Back Nyheim Hines returned 2 kickoffs for an average of 28 yards, and returned 3 punts for an average of 5.7 yards in the Bills’ 34-31 victory over the Dolphins. He also had 1 reception for 7 yards.

Cornerback Nick McCloud had 2 tackles in the Giants 31-23 win over the Giants.

 

Defensive Tackle T.Y. McGill didn’t record any stats in the 49ers 41-23 win over the Seahawks, but he did play in 19 snaps.

Center Garrett Bradbury returned from injury, and played 100% of the snaps in Minnesota’s 24-31 loss to New York.

 

 

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